A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In Chapter 2, whose religious ideas hold great appeal for Bessie?

2. In "Despite broken bondage . . .," in the old days a woman was only regarded as sacred if she what?

3. In her research for her novel, "Maru," Bessie worked right at the roots of what?

4. In Chapter 2, Bessie states that the only education for blacks in South Africa is what?

5. What does Bessie attribute her bad habits and violent nature to?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Bessie consider Botswana the "most unique and distinguished country in Africa"?

2. In Chapter 2, why is the friendship between Bessie and the American woman painful?

3. In "God and The Underdog," what does Bessie feel fuels revolutions?

4. In "Social and Political Pressures . . . ," what astonished Bessie about the book "One Hundred Years of Solitude"?

5. In what ways did emancipation slowly make it's way to Botswana?

6. In "Despite Broken Bondage . . .," how were women treated in Africa before independence?

7. What is Bessie's opinion of Botswana men?

8. What was Bessie's first experience of racism in a black form?

9. When Bessie arrived in Botswana in 1964, what were the major differences that she noticed between that country and South Africa?

10. How is Bessie's hatred of the white man lessened in Chapter 2?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "An unspeakable crime", Bessie expresses her disdain of the Coloured Affairs Department. What are they doing in Port Elizabeth and Capetown that she disagrees with? Describe the actions of the coloureds, whom she feels are accessories to the crime. Are they ashamed of their actions? Should they be? Do you think that they truly don't know their own minds and think that the Coloured Affairs Department knows what's best for their children? Or, do they see the situation for what it is and go along with it because it's the only way to survive?

Essay Topic 2

After reading "A Woman Alone," what are your views on oppression? How does it begin? What is it based on? Does it spiral out of control or is it a deliberate action? How do events in South Africa since he 1990s seem compared to the hopes of the previously oppressed people?

Essay Topic 3

The Natives Land Act of 1913 deeply affected the lives of the South African blacks. What was the purpose of the Act? What did the shortage of labor at the mines have to do with the passing of the Act? What were the consequences for whites, who allowed the blacks access to water or grazing land? What, do you think, was the main effect on the psyche of the one million black people affected by the passing of this Act?

(see the answer keys)

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